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ACP-EU Trade

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2018
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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

It is probable that at some time in the next two weeks, Europe will announce that a final deal on bananas has been achieved. In so doing, it will bring to a close the trade war that it has been fighting with Latin producers and the United States since 1993. If documents now circulating in Brussels represent the outcome, the final solution will not be much to the Caribbean's liking. On agreeing a deal, Europe will reduce its banana tariff from €176 to €148/t. Then, over a period of seven years, the tariff will fall to €114/t for all non-preferential imports of bananas into Europe. In exchange, Latin American producers will agree to drop their complaints against the EU at the World Trade Organisation. As with most matters of this kind, the final outcome is not yet guaranteed. There are still sensitive exchanges under way on a small number of issues requiring resolution.

The European Union is giving a total of 653 million Euros to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) member countries to finance projects that will help them to develop capacity in trade with other countries.The funds are to benefit companies investing in warehouse receipt systems, road construction, agriculture improvement projects and government departments among other things. It is aimed at developing the least developed countries' capacity to trade. It includes support to building new infrastructure, improving ports or customs facilities and assistance in helping factories meet European health and safety standards for imports, according to the European Union Operations Officer on Trade and Regional Integration in Uganda Alex Nakajjo.
Wednesday, 02 December 2009
If products are not tracked from their place of origin to their point of sale, there is no way of locating when and how product problems occur. Tracking products throughout their journey to their final destination is essential if we are to ensure worldwide supply and demand chains that deliver excellent-quality products. The three-year BRIDGE ('Building radio frequency identification for the global environment') project received EUR 7.5 million in EU funding to take up this challenge and it delivered exciting new tracking techniques using radio wave technology. Problems with the transport of goods such as delays, contamination or changes in temperature can mean that products are sometimes damaged or degraded when they arrive at their destination, and perishable goods such as food or pharmaceutical products are particularly vulnerable to this.
At a time when European leaders are gathering to welcome the dawn of a new era with the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty, this change may well prove to be more extensive than anticipated. The coming days could spell the end of the era when Europe considered the fight against poverty a priority. In the ongoing discussions on the Banana Dossier, the ACP States have made numerous concessions in an effort towards finding a definitive and balanced solution. In fact, analysis of the European banana market has shown that the customs tariff of €176/t that has been applied to banana imports from Central and South American countries (MFN countries) since January 2006, has sharply increased their presence on the EU market. There is no risk whatsoever, not now nor in the future, given the limited production capacity of the ACP countries that the European market will be “flooded” with ACP bananas.
Monday, 30 November 2009

Mr. Hegel Goutier, editor of the magazine "The Courier - The Magazine of Africa-Caribbean-Pacific & European Union Relations" is our guest. Mr. Goutier, who has 22 years experience as a journalist specializing in ACP-EU cooperation, present the purpose, content and objectives of the Courrier (available in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese), real media tool between the EU and ACP countries. Mr. Goutier shares with us the challenges ahead for the Courier and for the ACP-EU communication.

Friday, 27 November 2009
Experts from Africa, Caribbean and Pacific are meeting since  Wednesday morning in Luanda, to prepare the documents that will be submitted to the 18th  session of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, that will open on November 30 in the Angolan capital. The meeting is to tackle matters related to the impact of the world economic financial crisis on ACP countries, the situation in Madagascar, climatic changes, as well as the participation and  integration of youngsters in social and cultural affairs. The event will gather 400 participants from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific plus Europe, to  discuss the reforms in international institutions and globalisation, including the refugees issue. The meeting will also tackle the impact of the world economic and financial crisis on the  ACP-EU states, the reduction of the effect of natural disasters, the World Trade Organisation  negotiations and the economic partnership accords, as well as the documents on regional and  countries strategies on the 10th Europe Development Fund.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
The European Commission has today signed a multi-million euro agreement that aims to help Nigeria tackle development challenges in the areas of governance, trade and peace. The agreement, signed in Brussels by European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Karel De Gucht, and by Nigeria's Executive Secretary of the National Planning Commission, Professor Sylvester Monye, is an ambitious step forward in cooperation and is a direct result of the Nigeria-EU political dialogue. It reinforces cooperation in three strategic areas: peace and security; governance and human rights; trade and regional integration with €677 million for the period 2009 – 2013 financed through the European Development Fund.
Liberalising global agricultural trade without any regulation would threaten global food security as private investment funds would buy huge amounts of land in developing countries and produce for profit rather than to feed the poor, Jacques Carles, founder of Momagri, a French think-tank on agriculture. If you free international trade without any regulation, only international investment funds and speculators will profit, not the poor", said Carles, managing director of Momagri (Mouvement pour une organisation mondiale de l'agriculture). Private investment funds are already rushing to buy agricultural land all over the globe, he warned, adding that "we are heading towards a very dangerous scenario" in which these funds and speculators own huge amounts of land and produce according to world demand in order to make a profit.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Lady Ashton, Brussels' new foreign policy chief, was accused of abandoning Europe's commitment to tackle poverty, as African and Caribbean governments reacted angrily to a proposed deal to end the 16-year "banana wars". Ashton, who is currently European trade commissioner, took a leading role in negotiating an agreement with Latin American governments, expected to be signed this week, which would bring to an end one of the world's longest-running trade disputes. But in offering to slash import taxes on bananas from Latin America, from €176 a tonne to €114 over the next seven years, Europe has infuriated countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific–many of them former colonies–which have traditionally had special access to Europe's markets.
Jamaica's Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda says the Government will be embarking on a marketing campaign in Europe on behalf of the small business sector in January. The Jamaica Marketing Company, based in London, England, which he explained had been "lying dormant" for many years, will be driving the campaign. He said the marketing assistance was essential for small businesses to compete overseas. "You need money, you can't individually collect enough money to go out and market your own products by yourself. What we need to do is to trod the pavements of Europe and North America. We need to create a virtual army of Jamaican representatives out there selling Jamaican products", Samuda emphasised.